Friday, March 12, 2010

Hard to resist comparing...

One of the things I promised to myself was to never compare Ela with other kids, esp. when she's old enough to understand...but yesterday we went to her first real playgroup event and I caught myself comparing her to a cute 10-month-old girl who was already able to walk(!)...and another 7-month-old who could take little steps if you held her hands and led her...Ela hasn't shown any attempts to even stand up yet but I realized that I wasn't actually motivating her in any way...
I immediately tried to organize my mixed feelings re. this silly comparison and decided to see it as a sign that I actually should start to help Ela to strengthen her legs and do some little practice every day.
Another thing I thought of yesterday was the variety of approaches moms follow while raising their little ones. There are those who like to follow strict routines and want their babies to learn to be independent as early as possible, others who decide to let their not-sleeping babies cry out, again others who prefer attachment parenting, and lots of other preferences, lots of other different ways, approaches, styles...I read many blogs of moms who follow one style or the other...and it was interesting to see that most of them were kind of trying to prove that their system was the best...banning all other views and approaches.
The last 9 months have actually taught me that every baby is so different that you could probably write a separate book with a separate approach for every single one in the world. I believe that the motherly instinct is the only authority that can tell what's right or wrong for the child. Therefore, the most 'correct' approach seems to be the one which makes the mom feel good and secure...because then the baby will also feel good and secure. or not???
There were some very judgmental comments in some of the blogs I have to say. Not nice.
I personally like bits and pieces of all the different systems I read about...none of them seems to be perfect but I think there's no such thing anyway...and I certainly can't blame another mom because she decided to do co-sleeping for example because that's the only way her baby will sleep.
So pls let's be less judgmental =)))

2 comments:

  1. Oh Janset, you just beautifully expressed what one of the struggles in my head was. Comparison, as Tolle beautifully describes, is such an ego mind behavior. I made 2 collages of Leyla and myself as her mother and wrote on it that I wish to refrain from comparison. it is hard. Leyla is still not walking on her own and only takes steps when I hold both of her hands. She never rolled over with joy and just started crawling on her 13 month birthday. All this even physical therapy and evaluations, etc. I realized that she only did move her body wen she was ready. There was no way I could have made her do this earlier.
    Yes, and thank you for the reflection on parenting. This is such a juicy and difficult theme. Everybody is an "expert" and actually no one knows :). Leyla stated to have tantrums and I am flabbergasted by my inability to react as the books told me to. I am still trying different approaches and so far haven't found a way of dealing with her in this state of emotion. Next step is to try to ignore her. I trier holding her, sitting next to her, talking gently and clam over an over the same reassuring words, I tried talking in her language (toddler expression). Next I will try to ignore her and see what happens. The sleeping issue was also only solved by leeting her cry it out for 3 days. Before I nursed, patted her back, held her, checked and consoled, etc. Nothing help, instead it only aggrevated her crying.
    Long story short: Every baby is different (you said it beautifully). We can write a book for every one and still get it wrong. So relax, breath and let it be. It is all just fine.
    Love Eva

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  2. Eva, it's so nice to be on the same wave length..I love you! Isn't it nice that we know at least our weaker sides and try to work on them...I guess if there was nothing to work on anymore we'd be done with our current lives ;)

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